Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In the Garden /// Signs of Spring.....?


Here on the southern most west coast of BC, on Vancouver Island, we enjoy some of the mildest temperatures in Canada. And in what should be the dead of winter, it always amazes me how early the first signs of spring appear. I've been walking more (a lot more actually, thanks to the rampant spread of Fitbit contagion that's taken hold of my friends and I), and walking more means peaking at gardens while on foot -- which I'll admit, as a gardener and lover of all things that grow, happens to be one of my favorite things.


In our little garden we've been enjoying the most brilliant and unexpected display from our 2 hellebores. This being our first over-winter for the garden we planted, I was totally surprised that these understated plants bloom in the middle of winter! What a treat!


Also our chives are coming up, which is always a sign I need to dust off my food growing skills.


And then late in the season last year, on a whim, I broadcast some poppy seeds. I just love seeing the fuzzy little buds on these guys.

. . .

If you are enduring a seriously cold winter I promise I'm not trying to rub spring in your face, I know how lucky I am and maybe you could live vicariously through me until the ground thaws where you are 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hot Chocolate Powder /// dairy and refined sugar free!

HOT CHOCOLATE /// dairy and refined sugar free hot chocolate powder from www.janerichmond.com


 chocolate
I am a chocolate addict. And because I can't have dairy I am confined to sourcing only dairy-free chocolate which if you know where to look, isn't too difficult to find. What narrows my search even further is my choice to avoid refined sugar completely. Dairy-free, refined sugar free, hot chocolate, however, is impossible to find and the few I have found are incredibly expensive. At the rate I drink hot chocolate in the winter and while camping in the summer -- stocking these gourmet hot chocolate powders just isn't in the budget.

Just Add Water
Another draw back to the dairy-free powders I've found is that in order to taste good they require hot milk (either nut, soy, coconut, whatever your preference). When we camp we always have a pot of hot water boiling on the stove for dishes, to wash up at night, for tea or other hot beverages, and boiling my almond milk just proved too annoying -- not to mention the messy boil overs!

Experimentation
I set out to make my own hot chocolate powder that was affordable, and met my requirements (non-dairy, no refined sugar, and just-add-water delicious!). I've spent months experimenting with this recipe and I've finally come to a powder that I think is truly perfect! So if you are like me and can't have dairy, here is my recipe for you!


HOT CHOCOLATE /// dairy and refined sugar free hot chocolate powder from www.janerichmond.com

HOT CHOCOLATE /// dairy and refined sugar free hot chocolate powder from www.janerichmond.com

HOT CHOCOLATE /// dairy and refined sugar free hot chocolate powder from www.janerichmond.com

HOT CHOCOLATE /// dairy and refined sugar free hot chocolate powder from www.janerichmond.com

HOT CHOCOLATE /// dairy and refined sugar free hot chocolate powder from www.janerichmond.com

HOT CHOCOLATE /// dairy and refined sugar free hot chocolate powder from www.janerichmond.com


HOT CHOCOLATE POWDER
Dairy and refined sugar free

Ingredients
50g coconut milk powder
3 tbsp vanilla cane sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Directions
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. To make hot chocolate add 4 heaping teaspoons of hot chocolate powder to 1 cup (250ml) of boiling hot water. Add more powder if you prefer a richer drink!

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. This recipe makes one small batch (a few cups worth of hot chocolate), feel free to double or triple the recipe to make a bigger batch!

Add some homemade marshmallows and you'll think you'd died and gone to hot chocolate heaven!! My fave recipe is this one: Butter Baked Goods.

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VANILLA SUGAR: 
I wasn’t able to find vanilla cane sugar -- I do know that regular vanilla sugar is available. If you don’t have a preference towards cane sugar feel free to use this instead! I made my own vanilla cane sugar by scraping a vanilla bean into 2 cups of cane sugar, burying the pod in the jar as well, and allowing to infuse for 1-2 weeks.

COCONUT MILK POWDER:
I've been able to find 50g packets of various brands of coconut milk powder at asian grocers like Fairway Market but my favourite product is this 300g box by Grace which I purchased from the Bulk Barn. I've also heard that you might be able to find it at the Real Canadian Superstore.

COCOA POWDER: 
A quality cocoa powder is always the best! My ginormous tub is from Costco and it's a steal for under 10 dollars!! It's a great product!

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Well my lactose intolerant, dairy-free, and vegan friends, I really hope that you enjoy my recipe! I've found so many great resources and recipes for my dietary restrictions online -- I really wanted to give something back.

DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE VERSION:

Friday, December 19, 2014

NEW Pattern /// Elliston Scarf

Elliston Scarf by Jane Richmond


For years and years I was a scarf gal. I knit and wore super long scarves, double wrapped around my neck, and always with fringe! Then I discovered cowls, and for years it was all about cowls. Last year I lived in my Garter Gaiter and the year before that it was my DK weight Annie.

This year, for whatever reason, I've been reaching for my scarves again. Maybe I like the way they look with my new boots, or it's possible I've secretly missed the fringe, or could it be that I love how the ends hang down and add extra insulation inside my winter coat? Whatever the reason, it lead me to a new design--an extra squishy, super bulky, incredibly fast knit with soft fluffy fringe!

In fact this knit is so fast, it can be completed in a weekend! If you have anyone on your last minute knit-list, why not whip up an Elliston Scarf! And to make it even easier to put an Elliston Scarf under the tree (or maybe gift the pattern to a special knitting friend, or to yourself?!)... 


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From now until Christmas get the Elliston Scarf at 50% off!!!

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Simply enter code MerryChristmas at check out when you purchase the pattern from my website or Ravelry! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!


ADD TO CART -


Happy Knitting!

Friday, November 28, 2014

SALE /// Black Friday + Cyber Monday


To all of my friends south of the border, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving weekend! In Canada we've long since had our turkey celebration, and with December just around the corner the holiday season is finally here! 

I love the holidays, and how it brings us together, both family and friends. 

To kick off this holiday season I'm offering 25% off all of the patterns in my Ravelry shop! Simply use coupon code BF2014 at check out between now and December 1st to enjoy 25% off your purchase!

Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Off the Needles /// Bulky Annie Cowl



I have a to-do list that's about a mile long with some tasks dating back years. The funny thing about knitwear design as a profession, is that you'd be surprised how little time there is for knitting and designing. There are SO many other things that go along with the job that there isn't always time for everything on the list. 

Today I got to cross something off my list. A few Christmases ago I designed the Annie cowl from a very special skein of Alpaca that I scored at the Cowichan Fleece and Fibre Fest that year. The cowl was buttery soft and oh so luxurious but in DK weight it wasn't quite an instant gratification knit. Since then I'd always had it in my mind to knit a bulkier Annie, I just needed to find the time and the perfect yarn!


And finally, I did. 

The yarn I chose was Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Bulky. This was my first time working with Swans Island and although I'd heard endless good things about it, I wasn't fully prepared for how deeply I would fall in love with it. 

No word of a lie my friends, every time I brought this project out in public, knitters were immediately drawn to the yarn, dying to know what it was. Lots of oooos and ahhhhs were shared over the squishy skeins as I would reveal the ball band proudly, knowing that I was working with something very special.


You see Swans Island Natural Colors Bulky is 100% organic Merino wool. Now I don't know if it's because it's undyed, or because it's organic, or simply because it's Swans Island, but this yarn is so smooth and buttery soft, with no itch or fuzz, and with a perfect matte finish (no sheen! ...possibly my favourite thing about it), that knitters were surprised that it was 100% wool.

To make a long story short, this yarn is something special. And now I want to make everything out of it; sweaters, mitts, hats, more cowls, I'm hooked!

...which brings us back to where we started. If I had all of the time in the world, and my only responsibilities were knitting and designing, I would cover myself head to toe in this yarn. 


And if you would like to knit yourself a squishy, bulky version of the Annie cowl, the pattern is FREE!!!

Happy knitting friends!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SEASONLESS /// Now Fully Available!!!



SEASONLESS booklets are arriving at their final destinations and it's been so exciting watching them pop up on Instagram! 

If you missed our special order you can now buy the printed booklet online from NNK Press -- details here! Included is a scratch off coupon code to access the interactive eBook and add it to your Ravelry library! Local yarn stores can also purchase books through NNK Press and stock SEASONLESS on their shelves!

I hope that those of you who have had a chance to read through your newly acquired SEASONLESS booklets are thoroughly enjoying them! I'm dying to know what you'll cast-on first! 

...and don't forget to tag your projects with #seasonlessknits so that Shannon and I can admire them!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Printed Booklet -- Special Release /// SEASONLESS: Mini Collection



We are so excited to offer printed booklets of our latest collection SEASONLESS, as a special release!

As with all of our books, SEASONLESS features stunning photography by Nicholas Kupiak, making the printed booklet a very special item to add to your collection.

The printed booklets will be available through our publishing website Marian Rae Publications, for one week only, so if you've had your heart set on owning a printed copy of the booklet make sure you order yours today.

And the best part? You can pick up your very own printed copy of SEASONLESS for the very same price as the eBook alone!


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Print Booklet Includes:

BOOKLET 
A stunning, high quality, 29 page printed booklet

+

eBOOK
Every purchase includes the eBook:
 + 76 pages, including the full photo shoot from Nicholas Kupiak
+ Extra resources for knitting help
+ Interactive PDFs for easy navigation between the pattern pages and website links
+ Reformatted, print-friendly PDFs of all of the patterns



Printed Booklet Only $12.95

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You can still purchase the eBook ONLY or any of the individual patterns:

eBook | Palladio | Laylow | Schwimmen

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DETAILS
___
 


SALE ENDS Wednesday, October 22nd

PURCHASE your booklet directly from Marian Rae Publications

SHIPPING: Booklets ship the first week of November 



...and last but not least the winner of the SEASONLESS giveaway is commenter #47, Nicole guessed socks, a shawl, and a vest.